The UCF Police Department reminds anyone who will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this weekend to keep safety top of mind.

With festivities planned in the UCF area over the next several days, UCFPD will have an increased presence near campus and is sharing simple tips to help all those celebrating enjoy themselves responsibly.

“We understand that St. Paddy’s Day is an occasion for celebration, but we don’t want it to become an excuse to neglect safety,” said UCFPD Chief Richard Beary. “Don’t rely on luck to keep you safe. Follow the law, use good judgement and look out for your friends.”

SNAP, the partnership between UCFPD and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office that targets underage drinking and partying, will be in effect Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Officers and deputies will be keeping an eye out for underage drinkers, house parties, impaired drivers and other reckless and illegal behavior.

SNAP, short for Sector II Noise and Alcohol Patrol, is an initiative that began in April 2015 to target underage drinking, house parties and noise complaints. Since then, officers and deputies have seized hundreds of fake IDs, made four DUI arrests and issued more than 200 written arrests for possession of alcohol by a person under 21.

For those celebrating St. Paddy’s Day, UCFPD stresses the importance of having a plan to get home safely in place before going out. Plan on taking a taxi or ride service, or elect a lucky charm, a friend whom you trust to stay sober, as a designated driver. Buzzed driving is drunk driving, so never let impaired driving be an option.

Don’t press your luck by using a fake ID. Remember that possession of a counterfeit ID is a felony in Florida. Besides the criminal consequences, a fake ID could put your academic future, job prospects and ability to vote and drive in jeopardy.

While out, never leave a drink unattended or accept a drink from someone you do not know.

Also follow the buddy system. Look out for your friends, and don’t be afraid to step in or call for help if a situation seems dangerous.

UCFPD will be working around the clock this weekend and can be reached at 407-823-5555. Always dial 911 for a crime in progress.